name: Kurt Wagner
Other aliases: None
Legal status: Criminal record in the United States,
later overturned by the courts; still wanted internationally
as an outlaw
Place of birth: Somewhere in the Bavarian Alps
Marital status: Single
Known relatives: Eric Wagner (father, deceased),
Margali Szardos (foster mother), Jimaine Szardos (Daytripper,
alias Amanda Sefton, foster sister), Stefan Szardos (foster
brother, deceased). The name of Wagner's mother, who was
presumed to be deceased, is not known for certain, though
it may be the mutant Mystique.
Base of operations: Muir Island, Scotland
Group affiliation: Excalibur,
First appearance: GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1
History: Kurt Wagner was born with certain unusual
physical characteristics, but his power of self-teleportation
did not emerge until puberty. Margali Szardos, a sorceress
and gypsy queen, found Wagner an hour after his birth,
in a small roadside shelter in the Bavarian Alps. She
found his father, Eric Wagner, dead of a heart attack
on the road outside. Margali is said to have found Wagner's
mother lying next to the baby and dying, but this assertion
has been called into question, and not even Kurt Wagner
knows the truth. Margali took the baby to the small Bavarian
circus where she worked as a fortuneteller as a "cover"
for her activities as a sorceress. Wagner was never legally
adopted by anyone, but was raised by all the members of
the circus, who had no prejudices against "freaks." Margali
acted as Wagner's unofficial foster mother.
Wagner grew up happily in the circus, and his two closest
friends were Margali's natural children Stefan and Jimaine.
Long before his teleportation power emerged, Wagner had
tremendous natural agility, and by his adolescence he
had become the circus's star acrobat and aerial artist.
Circus audiences assumed that he was a normal-looking
human being wearing a demon-like costume.
Years later, the Texas millionaire Arnos Jardine, who
ran a large circus based in Florida, heard of the circus
Wagner worked for and bought it. Jardine intended to move
its best acts into his American circus. However, he demanded
that Wagner be placed in the circus's freak show. Appalled,
Wagner quit and made his way towards Winzeldorf, Germany,
where Stefan was. He discovered that Stefan had gone mad
and had brutally slain several children. Two nights after
leaving the circus, Wagner found Stefan and fought him,
hoping to stop his rampage. In the course of the struggle,
Wagner unintentionally broke Stefan's neck. Then the villagers
of Winzeldorf, who assumed him to be a demon who was responsible
for the child killings, discovered Wagner. They were about
to kill him when they were all psionically paralyzed by
Professor Charles Xavier,
who had come to recruit Wagner into the X-Men. Wagner
agreed to join the group, but before they left for America,
he and Xavier went to the Bavarian circus so that Wagner
could explain to Margali about Stefan's death. However,
Margali was not there. She held Wagner responsible for
murdering Stefan, but years later, she learned the truth
and she and Wagner were reconciled. Wagner was also happily
reunited with Jimaine, who now lives in the United States
under the name of Amanda Sefton. Known as Nightcrawler,
Wagner became a member of the X-Men.
Nightcrawler remained with the X-Men for years. Eventually,
however, he became a founding member of the British-based
team Excalibur and is now the team's leader.
Wagner has recently been told that his mother is the
mutant known as Mystique. To save her own life, she claims
she had to toss the newborn child into a waterfall, yet
Mystique may have wanted to mislead Wagner and may not
actually be his birth mother. Wagner now believes that
his mother is Mystique and when and if new information
comes to light it is not known how Wagner will react to
the news, or to Mystique.
Height: 5 ft. 9 in.
Weight: 195 lbs.
Eyes: Shining yellow, no visible pupils
Other distinguishing features: Nightcrawler has
only 3 fingers (including an opposable thumb) on each
hand, and only 2 toes, each longer than an ordinary human's,
on each foot. Nightcrawler also has a prehensile tail
about 3 1/2 feet long, which can carry his own weight.
His body is almost entirely covered with a fine indigo-colored
fur, making him so dark that he seems to blend into deep
shadows. (Contrary to appearances, he does not literally
turn invisible in deep shadow.) Nightcrawler also has
pointed ears and pronounced fang-like canine teeth. His
spine is more flexible than an ordinary human being's,
allowing him to spend much of his time in a semi-crouching
position without damaging his posture and enables him
to perform contortionist-like feats.
Strength level: Nightcrawler possesses at least
the normal human strength of a man of his age, height,
and build who engages in intensive regular exercise.
Known superhuman powers: Nightcrawler is a mutant
with the ability to teleport himself, the clothes he is
wearing, and, within limits, a certain amount of additional
mass which is in contact with him. He teleports by displacing
himself into another dimension (the nature of which is
as yet unknown), travelling through it, and then returning
to his own dimension at a certain distance from his point
of departure. He consciously determines his point of return.
The entire process occurs so quickly that Nightcrawler
is unaware of being in another dimension at all. Nightcrawler
guides himself through the other dimension by an unconscious,
natural direction-finding sense. Although Nightcrawler
controls his teleportational ability with his conscious
mind, his power to teleport is not psionic. Rather it
is the result of an unknown biochemical/biophysical reaction
which he triggers mentally.
When he disappears in teleporting, Nightcrawler leaves
behind smoke with a stench reminiscent of burning brimstone.
This is a small portion of the atmosphere of this other
dimension that escapes while the aperture is open. His
teleportation is invariably accompanied by the muffled
sound of imploding air rushing to fill the vacuum left
where Nightcrawler's volume was.The longer the distance
over which Nightcrawler teleports himself, the harder
and more exhausting it is for him to make the teleportational
"jump." It is easier for him to teleport between north
and south (along Earth's magnetic lines of force) than
it is for him to teleport between east and west (against
the magnetic lines). Under optimal conditions, teleporting
only himself and his costume, Nightcrawler can displace
himself a distance of about 2 miles east-to-west, and
up to 3 miles north-to-south. Making a vertical teleportation
upwards is difficult and dangerous. Nightcrawler has made
a vertical teleportational "jump" of 2 miles by pushing
himself to his physical limits.
Nightcrawler has a very limited unconscious extrasensory
ability that prevents him from teleporting himself so
that his feet, for example, would materialize below the
surface of the local ground. Because this ability is so
limited, however, Nightcrawler will not teleport into
any place that he cannot see or has not seen in the past.
If Nightcrawler teleported himself into an unfamiliar
area, he would run the risk of materializing partially
or entirely within a solid object. If too much of his
body materialized within a solid object, he would probably
Nightcrawler's powers automatically displace liquids
and gases when he arrives in the course of a teleportation.
Nightcrawler's momentum is retained throughout the process
of teleportation: he arrives with whatever amount of inertia
he left with. For example, if he were falling from a great
height, he could not teleport himself towards the ground
in order to save himself; he would land with the same
velocity that he teleported with. He can subtract this
inertia by teleporting short distances upwards (as though
taking two steps back for every one forward).
The limits to the amount of weight that Nightcrawler
can carry with himself while teleporting, and the limits
to the range of distance over which he can teleport himself
with such additional loads, are unknown. When he transports
a passenger over even moderate distances, they both feel
weakened and ill, to the point of exhaustion. Teleportation
over further distances could be fatal. Through practice,
Nightcrawler has increased the mass he can teleport with
him. (He once teleported himself and Storm from the center
of a small island into the water just off its coast without
harming either of them). The upper limits of this capacity
are as yet unknown.
Other abilities: Nightcrawler is a superb athlete
and an Olympic-class acrobat. He can do a standing high
jump of about 8 feet. He is skilled at hand-to-hand combat
and is a master at fencing, which he can even perform
with his tail.